A global contest to grow seeds and share your progress with the Raspberry Pi
My early growlab
A capture from phototimer of my seed tray with a wide-angle camera positioned above
My own growlab laboratory
- Overview - Growing your own with the Raspberry Pi with Alex Ellis at GIFEE Day
- Live stream "Grow your own food with Raspberry Pi" - Alex Ellis & Richard Gee
How it works
- Read the launch blog post: Join the Grow Lab Challenge.
- Decide you're taking part by sending a PR and adding yourself to the "growlab Technicians" section below.
- Find or buy the required components for the experiments you want to take part in (read all of this file to learn more)
- Build your own
#growlabusing one of the designs, or customise it. And start growing and recording a timelapse.
- Use the #growlab hashtag and share as many pictures as you like.
- Send a Pull Request and link to each Tweet to unlock each level.
- At the conclusion of the growing period, we'll send some prizes from OpenFaaS Ltd and Pimoroni to entries at random for different tiers.
Note: Growlab 2021 concludes Sunday 3rd October to mark Harvest Festival in the United Kingdom.
Unlock each level
Before you get started with your build, send a PR to list yourself as a "lab technician".
Bronze - assemble your
#growlab using one of the recommend designs or customise it. Tweet a photo of your build fully assembled.
Silver - install the software and capture your first photo of your seed tray or pots. Tweet the photo.
Gold - Wait until at least one of your seeds has germinated and grown into a seedling - around 2-3cm in height. Tweet the photo taken by the timelapse software.
Platinum - use the phototimer or seeds2 software to capture images over 14 days. Compile the images into a timelapse and upload it to YouTube. We recommend one photo every 10 minutes. Feel free to exclude any photos prior to the seeds germinating. Tweet a link to the video.
Technicians work in laboratories, and you are no different, so if you've bought your kit, or have decided to join, then add your details below so that we can encourage each other and see how many people are participating. If you don't have a Twitter or GitHub handle just put N/a.
Live preview URLs
A live preview URL keeps things interesting and lets the community get a view inside your lab.
See the new growlab app for your Raspberry Pi
Official growlab apps
We have three experiments that you can take part in:
You'll need a Raspberry Pi Zero or greater with a camera module. This is required for the contest.
You'll need a Raspberry Pi Zero or greater with a camera module. If you have a BME280 sensor or BMP280 sensor, then you can add sensor data to the live preview image. This is optional for the contest, but recommended so that you can share with the community.
You'll need an RPi 3 or 4 to run the time series database, and dashboard. Then you can attach a sensor to this unit directly, or have a number of other Raspberry Pi Zeros or greater with the BME280 sensor or BMP280 sensor.
The data-logger does not require you to grow any plants, you can even use it to monitor your home and garden temperatures during the year. This experiment is optional.
Focusing your camera
Some cameras like the HQ camera are variable focus, the cheaper lenses can also have their glue broken to enable them to close focus.
Low latency with built-in web-browser:
Quick and functional:
# On your Raspberry Pi raspivid -t 0 -w 1280 -h 720 -fps 10 -o - | nc -lkv4 8080 # On your computer, enter this URL into VLC under "Network Stream" # Replace with your Raspberry Pi's IP tcp/h264://192.168.0.53:8080
Making your timelapse
If you're using phototimer, then you can run the following with ffmpeg. It's advised that you copy the images to your PC before running the command since the Raspberry Pi Zero is rather slow at crunching videos.
echo $(echo $(find ./Desktop/image/ | sort -V|grep jpg)) | xargs cat | ffmpeg -framerate 10 -f image2pipe -vcodec mjpeg -i - -vcodec libx264 out.mp4
iMovie is also relatively easy to use, by dragging the images into the timeline and changing the time between images to ~ 0.1s
Here's a sample from 9th-22nd April you can watch on YouTube:
Click here to watch my video timelapse
Extra points and taking things further
A self-watering system
- Overlay temperature and humidity data with a Bosch BME280 or BMP280 sensor
- Add a self-watering system with a small pump and capacitive soil sensor
- Try a garden RGB grow-light to give your seeds a little more help
- Experiment with hydroponics
- Install your lab in an outdoor greenhouse, shed or cold-frame
- Use a light sensor / LDR or UV sensor measure available light
- Try a suitable solar panel and battery capacity to run your experiment outdoors or in a room without a socket
Community projects and add-ons
- phototimer for capturing photos from the RPi camera for a timelapse: alexellis/phototimer
- Richard Gee's seeds2 repo for tweeting and capturing images: rgee0/seeds2
- Sam Perrin's seed-viewer for viewing the images captured with phototimer sam-perrin/seed-viewer
- Sander Vanhove's plant-monitor using Waylay: SanderVanhove/plant-monitor
- Felipe Cruz's repo for displaying sensor readings in an OLED i2c screen: felipecruz91/growlab-oled